Talking about fear of cycling …

If you want to hear me spouting the concise version (at least as it struck me on that particular day) of my article Fear of Cycling you can head over to BikeLove and download the podcast of a recent interview with Jo from BikeLove. The key arguments are there, expertly and relatively painlessly extracted by Jo, and all in eight (long?) minutes. I must admit, they sound rather clumsy and crude to me, without all the garnish which normally accompanies academic argument in a ‘proper’ written paper. But if arguments don’t work ‘naked’, it doesn’t matter how dressed up you make them, they still won’t work … anyway, I’ll let you, if you’re so inclined, be the judge …

BikeLove comes from Sydney, Australia – hence the contrast between Jo’s lovely (and to me, during this British winter, exotic-sounding) Ozzie accent and my dul(cet) Brummie tones (to non-UK readers, ‘Brummie’ is a term for people originating from Birmingham, England). It was great to be asked to contribute to the show. I am very fond of Australia, even if ‘they’ do (try to) make cyclists wear helmets (although see the story of the remarkable Sue Abbott, also on BikeLove).

My partner Sue and I lived in the hills above Adelaide for a couple of years back in the early 1990s, and I can trace the birth of an explicit commitment to work on behalf of cycling back to our time there. Specifically, I publicly vowed to work towards a cycle-friendly future during the conclusion to a series of workshops on human-scale development in which I took part; the workshops coincided with the visit, and loosely followed the ideas, of the Chilean economist and environmentalist Manfred Max-Neef, and they formed a key part of my (ongoing) political education.

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